A newly discovered Tourism Potential at Niger Delta in Nigeria
- The Niger Delta is the delta of the Niger River, which lies directly on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean in Nigeria.
- The Niger Delta is known for piracy, armed gangs and oil spills, which makes tourism development a challenge.
- However, the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Samuel Numonengi, sees the poor dissemination of information as a bane of tourism development in the Niger Delta region.
Travel and tourism is an industry of peace. This could be an opportunity for the people of the Niger Delta, Nigeria to build on. A wild card in this endeavor could come from Jamaica.
Nowhere on earth do pirates strike more often than in the Gulf of Guinea, where more than 130 sailors were taken hostage last year.
Research by the World Conservation Union and Nigerian government agencies shows that, on average, oil spilled in Nigeria each year for the past 50 years was equivalent to the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.
The area is more dangerous than the Somali coast. The EU wants to do something about it.
State Department says on trips to Nigeria: Reconsider the trip to Nigeria because of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and Marine crime. Exercise increased caution because of this COVID-19. Some areas are at increased risk. Read the entire travel advisory.
A 2018 study of the Niger Delta region and tourism development summarizes:
The main aim of this study was to examine piracy and its impact on tourism development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
By opening a tourism welcome center, he said that the hearsay-based public perception of the region was detrimental to the socio-economic development of this Nigerian region and stressed that it was high time our people began to tell their own story about the region History to correct earlier misrepresentations about the region.
The chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Samuel Numonengi, has described the poor dissemination of information as a bane of tourism development in the Niger Delta region.
Numonengi identified the lack of adequate documentation of the Ijaw’s rich cultural heritage as a major challenge in promoting tourism potential.
He found that millions of jobs and businesses depend on a strong and thriving tourism sector. Tourism has been a driving force in protecting natural and cultural heritage to preserve it for future generations
He said Visitor Information Centers (VICs), also known as Tourist Information Centers or Welcome Centers, are primarily being set up to provide travelers with helpful information to improve their stay in the particular destination they are visiting.
Numonengi said the Ernest Ikoli Visitor Information Center Management Committee is expected to provide a friendly and welcoming environment for first-time visitors to the state to receive essential information about tourism products and services, and travel tips or guidebooks for them provide tourists.
He stated that the carefully selected members of the Ernest Ikoli Visitor Information Center’s management committee are expected to start tourism promotion activities by marketing local tourism products and services in order to have a direct impact on the local economy, to provide recreation for residents and visitors.
According to the chairman of the State Council, the initiative is part of the Bayelsa State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists to complement the socio-economic development efforts of the wealth management team under Senator Douye Diri.
The Ernest Ikoli Visitor Information Center Management Committee has appointed the chairman of the Travel Writers Corps of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State Council, Piriye Kiyaramo as general director, while the secretary of the NUJ State Council, Comrade Ogio Ipigansi, is to serve as secretary.
Other members include: Former Country Chairman of the Union, Tarinyo Akono, Former Secretary of State, C. Stanley Imgbi, Coordinator of the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ), Yenagoa Study Center, Roland Elekele and Business Manager of Silverbird FM Oxbow Lake Swali-Yenagoa, Oyins Egrebindo
Also appointed are: General Manager Peoples’ FM, Oxbow-Lake, Lawson Heyford, General Manager of Royal FM, Agudama, Tudor Ayah, Acting General Manager of Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation, Terence Ekiseh, Mr Tonye Yemoleigha (Radio Bayelsa), Mr Fiezibe Osain (Ministry of Information), Mr. Agidee Theophilus (Africa Independent Television), Editor-in-Chief of New Waves, Peace Sinclair, former National Ex-Officer of NAWOJ, Beatrice Sikpi and former Zonal Vice-President of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Ms. Timi Idoko.
Ernest Ikoli Visitor Information Center’s General Director, Comrade Piriye Kiyaramo, who is also chairman of the NUJ’s Travel Writers Corps, thanked the State Council leadership for finding him and other worthy members, just as he promised to give them their mandate fulfill.
It is worth remembering that a destination visitor information center, sometimes referred to as a “Welcome Center”, provides a central, physical location from which travelers can connect with local businesses and services.
In addition, the visitor information center will provide a space to generate income from the sale of goods and local handicrafts as well as to record and evaluate important travel information and statistics for planning purposes.
A month ago, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Co-Chair of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center (GTRCMC), Edmund Bartlett, announced that talks are now underway to set up a GTRCMC satellite center in Nigeria. Perhaps this is a good first step to start travel and tourism in one of the strongest and most important regions in Africa.
The African Tourism Board welcomes this initiative in Nigeria and is available on request.